The Ultimate Book Tag

I am terribly slow and when someone tags me in something, I often don’t get around to doing it for YEARS (or perhaps weeks) afterwards. Such is the case with The Ultimate Book Tag. Thank you to Steph from The Book Salon for tagging me. Lets get this show on the road.

Book Q&A Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

What are you reading right now? I have a few books on the go at the moment because I can’t seem to settle on one in particular. I’m reading Columbine by Dave Cullen, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Filth by Irvine Welsh.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? I still have some books left in my winter lineup, Both Flesh And Not by David Foster Wallace, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and the second book in 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I probably won’t get around to reading any of these anytime soon though. I imagine that I’ll be moving on to more Spring-feeling books towards the end of August.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Possession by A.S Byatt, A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, and City of Falling Angels by John Berendt.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now? I don’t read magazines.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? I have a longstanding hatred for Wuthering Heights. I read it years and years ago, so my opinion may have changed since then but I’m not game to try for a re-read. It’s certainly not the most poorly written book I’ve ever read, because I HAVE READ TWILIGHT guys – just putting it out there.

What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like? As a general rule I have absolutely no interest in chick lit, which is obviously incredibly popular with the masses. Also to give a more specific answer, I would rather eat arsenic laced donuts than read 50 Shades of Grey.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? Easily ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak. READ THIS BOOK.

What are your three favourite poems? Just one, by Rilke –

“God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.”

Where do you usually get your books? I shop at The Book Depository a lot. Having said that, if I’m at a shopping centre and I happen to walk past a book shop I always pop in and buy something. I also frequent second hand book stores as often as I can because they seem to be disappearing far too quickly for my liking.

Where do you usually read your books? I commute via train to work, so I get some reading time done there. Other than that I read during my lunch break if I’m not having lunch with someone in particular, and I often read in bed before I go to sleep at night.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? I was a voracious reader when I was a kid, so I flew through most of the book series available at the time. Babysitters Club, Babysitters Little Sister, Pen Pals, Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, Sweet Valley University etc. I remember visiting the local markets and scouring the second hand bookstore shelves for Sweet Valley High or Goosebumps titles that I hadn’t read yet. I was a lot less pedantic about reading things in proper order back then.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down? Sleep is a major joy in my life, so not much tops it and I rarely stay up late reading. I did stay up until after midnight a little while ago reading The Long Walk by Stephen King because I wanted to know how it ended.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book? Not that I can remember, no. Although it’s highly likely I winged a few of my high school English literature exams based on very little reading of the allocated texts.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover? More often than I should.

What was your favourite book when you were a child? The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.

What book changed your life? The entire Harry Potter series was a life changing experience.

What is your favourite passage from a book? “When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist in his face.”

What are your top five favourite authors? J.K. Rowling, Markus Zusak, Khaled Hosseini, Cormac McCarthy, and David Foster Wallace.

What book has no one heard about but should read? Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace (I’m pretty sure people have heard of this book, but still – read it anyway).

What 3 books are you an “Evangelist” for? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, the Road by Cormac McCarthy & A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

What are your favourite books by a first-time author? The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

What is your favourite classic book? 1984 by George Orwell.

Five other notable mentions? (do these have to be classics? I hope not…) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Beach by Alex Garland, We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Schriver, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

A lot of the people I had originally intended to tag in this post have since completed it anyway, so I’m throwing an open tag out there but singling out Dee because I’m quite curious to read her answers.

Thoughts of the week…

01) I feel like I’m finally getting back into the swing of things after my holiday down south with friends and my week off of work. Unfortunately, the post-holiday blues are super efficient at draining me of all motivation to do anything productive.

02) I did not manage to score Beyonce tickets to her Perth show and I am NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.

03) Speaking of Queen Bey, her husband Mr Carter released his new album ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ earlier this month and although it’s received mixed reviews, I’m loving it. Favourite tracks so far: Holy Grail, Tom Ford, and Somewhere in America.

04) Detective Holder, tall drink of water.

05) I’m currently participating (sort of) in BookTubeAThon and I’m not doing very well. I started out the week with the best intentions but promptly failed when I went to stay at my sister’s house for a few nights and forgot my book. Smart! I decided to start mid-week and read half the suggested number of pages, so we’ll see how I go.

06) Speaking of books, I’m assuming all my fellow Harry Potter nerds saw this news during the week. Which reminds me, I need to place a Book Depository order and get myself a copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling ASAP.

07) The reviews for this BIC ‘For Her’ pen are hilarious.

08) If you feel like piling all of your cash into a pile and setting fire to it, I suggest checking out this website. I will no doubt be buying ALL THE THINGS when I’m a little bit closer to moving into my new house.

09) Jay Z’s 99 Problems

10) This feels like a good time to remind you about WTF Evolution.

Product Review: Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint Body Lotion

This is my Christmas body lotion. I use this and the shower gel from this scent range throughout the month of December every year and the smell reminds me of Christmas and yes, it is magical (insert daily reminder about how much I love Christmas). I was looking through my cupboard for a body lotion to use this month and I felt like this old favourite needed to be dusted off and given a new life for what I decided would be my very own ‘Christmas in July’. I don’t like thick body lotions, so I really like these lightweight Bath & Body Works lotions and the formula seems to work well on my skin. What I mostly love about this is the smell. THE SMELL. The smell of this lotion is like heaven in a bottle. I’m pretty sure that it would be too sickly sweet for a lot of people, but for me it’s like delicious pepperminty crack. I can’t get enough, and the scent of the lotion lingers on the skin long after application which is great until I realise that I’ve been subconsciously sniffing my own arm for unknown lengths of time in a public place. Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint Body Lotion retails for $11 USD and is available seasonally from Bath & Body Works. Please note that I use the parcel forwarding service Hop Shop Go to buy things from Bath & Body Works, but this particular lotion was gifted to me by my family from the States.

June Favourites

01) Real Techniques Powder Brush – I rarely include makeup brushes in my favourites because so few of them have much of an impact on me. This is one of the better brushes that I’ve come across, it’s soft to the touch, applies powder well, and does not shed. At all. This is such a joy, because I’d grown accustomed to picking random black brush hairs off of my face before leaving the house.

02) Tarte Amazonian Blush in Dollface – This is the longest lasting blush that I own, which makes it perfect for the days where I know I’m going to walk into the bathroom after a long day at work and stare at my corpse-like reflection and wish that I still had some blush on.

03) Nivea Caramel Cream Lip Butter – I’ve been using this as my morning lip balm, I apply it before putting my makeup on and then by the time I reach the stage where I’m applying my lipstick for the day my lips are prepped and ready. I find that I can’t wear this on it’s own because it leaves a white sheen on my lips, but under lipstick it works just fine.

04) Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie – This was my go-to lip colour for June and I really enjoyed using it. Just an FYI – out of the shades that I own, this seems to be the most hydrating of the Revlon Lip Butter bunch but I still had to wear a lip balm underneath it. These aren’t the most moisturising of lip products, that’s for sure.

05) Paula’s Choice Hydralight Cleanser – This cleanser is pretty much perfection. It’s a lightweight gel formula, it cleans my face well without leaving my skin feeling stripped. and it’s fragrance free. I bought the JUMBO size of this and I never want it to run out. Ever. I LOVE IT OK.